Lord Indra and his consort

A good man and a bad man were neighbours. One day the bad man said to the good man, “You have to develop artistic qualities. You have to go to some good clubs and learn about culture, philosophy, spirituality and many other things.”

The good man was hesitant. He said, “No, no. For me it is better to stay at home and read religious and spiritual books.”

The bad man said, “At least come to my club once and see what it is like. You are bound to learn quite a few things that are necessary in human life.”

So the good man agreed, and together they went to a club. They read aloud from religious and spiritual books and discussed all kinds of things. After the discussion, they started drinking. They had such wonderful cultural, religious, spiritual and philosophical discussions, and then they started drinking!

When the good man came home, his wife could not believe her eyes. She could not recognise her husband. She cried, “What have you done? What have you done? I cannot recognise you!”

He said, “I have drunk wine.”

The wife became furious. “How could you do this?” she shouted.

The husband said, “My friend told me it is good. Lord Indra used to drink nectar. His nectar and our wine are the same thing. We do not have nectar, but we do have wine. It is the same thing.”

The wife was extremely mad. “No, no, you cannot drink! You must not drink!”

The man said, “All right, I promise not to drink any more.”

Alas, once you drink wine, you are caught. When his neighbour again invited him to go to the club, the man said, “My wife will be furious. What am I going to do?”

The friend asked, “Tell me frankly, did you enjoy it?”

“Yes, I enjoyed it, but now I will have a fight at home. I will have a war!”

The neighbour said, “No, no, no, this time nothing will happen. You just come with me. I assure you, nothing will happen.”

The good man went to the club again. He enjoyed philosophical, spiritual and all other kinds of discussion. When he came back home with his friend, heavily drunk, his wife was waiting. She said, “You promised not to do this!” Then she announced that she wanted to leave him.

The good man said, “No, this time my promise is definitely sincere. I will never, never go there again!”

The wife said, “Why did you tell me a lie? You said last time that you would never go there again!”

He said, “But even Lord Indra himself told many lies.”

She said, “So are you another Indra that you can lie to your heart’s content?”

The husband said, “Indra told many, many, many lies, and Indra even stole a cow. I have never stolen anything, so Indra went one step ahead of me. Indra was a thief, whereas I am only a liar. Indra has taught us how to tell lies. If Indra, the cosmic god, can tell lies, what is wrong with a human being telling lies?”

The following day was a holiday for the husband, so he did not go to work. His wife was really devoted to him. Every morning she would cook breakfast for the husband. Then she would cook lunch and dinner. Usually she cooked breakfast around eight o’clock in the morning. But on this particular day it became eleven o’clock and then twelve o’clock, and the wife still had not made breakfast. What was she doing? She was sewing a garment for herself. Finally the husband asked their son to tell his mother that it was getting very late and he was extremely hungry.

The mother said to the son, “Please, please, my son, my darling, do not be involved in our fight. Please only watch and enjoy what is going on.”

The son said, “I do not want to be involved in your quarrel and fight, Mother. You please take care of it.”

Soon it became one o’clock and then two o’clock. Still the wife was not giving the husband any food, and he was getting furious. Finally he said, “What kind of wife are you?”

The wife said, “You have become another Indra, so am I not Sachi, Indra’s wife? Since you are Indra, definitely I am Sachi. Who can tell me that Sachi ever cooked? She had many, many servants and maids to cook for her. Now you should get some maids, because I cannot cook any more. I am Sachi now. I will do whatever I want to do. Since you have become another Indra, you can have some maids to serve you. You can have some cooks to prepare your food. Let them cook for you, because from now on I will do whatever I want to do. I am a queen, after all. Indra was a king, and a king has to have cooks and all kinds of servants. I am a queen, so I will do whatever I like. I am not going to cook for you any more.”

The man was so sad and disturbed to hear his wife’s words. He said, “I will never, never go with my friend to that club again. I will remain really devoted and faithful to you. This is absolutely my solemn promise.”

The son was overjoyed that his parents had become reconciled. From that day on, the wife cooked and did everything for the husband as usual, and the husband kept his promise. He did not go to that club any more. This was how the wife taught her husband a lesson.